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What is the “Q” for? Rebecca Huxley-Binns Law Teacher of the Year 2010.

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Presentation on theme: "What is the “Q” for? Rebecca Huxley-Binns Law Teacher of the Year 2010."— Presentation transcript:

1 What is the “Q” for? Rebecca Huxley-Binns Law Teacher of the Year 2010

2  The “current economic climate”  BPTC qualified barristers vs pupillages  Training contracts vs paralegals  % of LLB graduates NOT progressing into one of the two (main?) branches  % of trainees with a GDL/CPE not an LLB  Who isn’t/won’t be a ‘lawyer’?  But we will still have some reserved work

3  Costs of degrees – loss of institutional autonomy  Competition – ‘uniqueness’ of the degree  GOLDEN RULE:  Who is my audience? (we’re not quite sure)  What do they want? (Jobs! We can make certain informed predictions)  How am I going to give it to them? (In this field, by making sure they come to me not you!)

4  Have we asked this before?  Fitness for what purpose?  Liberal arts degree?  Preparation as a solicitor?  Preparation as a barrister?  Preparation for paralegal work?  Preparation for professional work?  Something makes the law degree unique – what is it?

5  Students should have acquired:  Knowledge and understanding of the fundamental doctrines and principles which underpin the law of England and Wales particularly in the Foundations of Legal Knowledge;  A basic knowledge of the sources of that law, and how it is made and developed; of the institutions within which that law is administered and the personnel who practice law;  The ability to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a wide range of legal concepts, values, principles and rules of English law and to explain the relationship between them in a number of particular areas;  The intellectual and practical skills needed to research and analyse the law from primary resources on specific matters; and to apply the findings of such work to the solution of legal problems; and  The ability to communicate these, both orally and in writing, appropriately to the needs of a variety of audiences.

6  Students should be able:  To apply knowledge to complex situations;  To recognise potential alternative conclusions for particular situations, and provide supporting reasons for them;  To select key relevant issues for research and to formulate them with clarity;  To use standard paper and electronic resources to produce up-to-date information;  To make a personal and reasoned judgement based on an informed understanding of standard arguments in the area of law in question;  To use the English language and legal terminology with care and accuracy;  To conduct efficient searches of websites to locate relevant information; to exchange documents by and manage information exchanges by ;  To produce word-processed text and to present it in an appropriate form.

7  Qualifying if pass (ignoring condonation/compensation issues): 1. Public Law (including Constitutional Law, Administrative Law and Human Rights); 2. Law of the European Union; 3. Criminal Law; 4. Obligations including Contract, Restitution and Tort; 5. Property Law; and, (including) 6. Equity and the Law of Trusts.  Appendix D JASB Handbook – indicative coverage (compare, e.g. Contract and Criminal law vs EU law ‘suggested’ coverage)

8  Credit points  Extract from the Joint Announcement  “The study of legal subjects must be not less than two years out of a three or four year course of study, ie 240 credits in a 360 or 480 credit degree programme. Some study of legal subjects must take place in the final year of the course. The coverage of the Foundation Subjects shall amount to not less than 180 credits”.

9  LPC  Legal and non-legal employment  Further personal information e.g. relevant experience, reasons for choosing law, career aspirations, hobbies, interests, etc.

10  BPTC  Employment history, including, specifically: “Where applicable, how did this post help you to develop skills relevant to practising as a barrister?”  Please provide specific examples of …  your ability to quickly and accurately analyse large amounts of written information.  when you have displayed exceptional communication and/or interpersonal skills.  how you have developed your advocacy and public speaking skills, preferably since the age of 18.  Please describe a time when you have been particularly under pressure and how you organised your work.

11  Personal characteristics (reliability, honesty)  Approach to study (hardworking, preparation, attitude, contribution in class etc).  Research skills  Communication skills  Teamworking and leadership skills  Problem-solving/creativity/initiative  Legal knowledge (PhD/M level and the Law Commission only!)

12  A consistent currency  Uniformity of knowledge and some skills at a minimum  ‘Core’ areas  BUT are these 7 subjects more ‘important’? Do they serve a genuine purpose?  Why, for example, is criminal law there? (asks a criminal lawyer and criminal law author)

13  Skills DOG TAIL

14  Credit point driven – linked to intellectual and professional legal skills assessment not knowledge delivery  Skills which are linked to legal content (there are no skills that do not require knowledge) but without mandated knowledge

15  Cases:  Case finding (research)  Case-reading  Case comprehension  Case law development  Case application to novel situations (problem solving)  Legislation  Parliamentary supremacy  Legislative research  Legislative language/literacies  Legislative ‘mapping’  Statutory interpretation

16  Ethics  Team working  Dispute resolution  Legal theory  Critical legal reasoning  Legal writing  Commerciality  Litigation

17  Year 1 - Negotiation with Contract and Employment law  Case law reasoning with Torts  Critical legal reasoning with media/IP law  Professional skills, including commerciality, with The Legal Services Sector  Year 2 - Mooting with Criminal Law  Legal Theory with Jurisprudence  Ethics with Land Law  Teamworking with the Law of Landlord and Tenant  Year 3 - Research with extended writing with project (student choice)  Interviewing with Family law  Legislative reasoning with Company law  Advanced problem solving with Banking law

18  Year 1 - Drafting with Contract law  Interviewing and case law with Commercial law  Critical legal reasoning with Information Technology law  Dispute resolution with Competition law  Year 2 - Legislative reasoning with Insolvency law  Legal Theory with Public International law  Ethics with Trusts  Problem solving with Business law  Year 3 - Research with extended writing with project (student choice)  Commerciality with Banking law  Teamworking with Space law  Advanced problem solving with European law

19  Year 1 - Drafting with Land law  Interviewing with Family law  Critical legal reasoning with Public law  Professional skills with English legal systems  Year 2 - Legislative reasoning with Sex and the law  Legal Theory with Human Rights law  Ethics with Criminal law and procedure  Problem solving with International Child law  Year 3 - Research with extended writing with project (student choice)  Dispute resolution with medical law  Teamworking with Criminology and Penology  Advanced problem solving with the Law of Evidence

20  Year 1 – Case analysis with contract and employment  Legislative analysis with EU and ECHR  Critical legal reasoning and thinking torts  Modern languages  Year 2 – Dispute resolution and team working with competition law  Ethics and commerciality with land and trusts  European politics  Modern languages  Year 3 - Research with extended writing with project (student choice)  International relations and politics  International trade law  Modern languages

21 Last words  A law degree is a study of a particular literacy informed by the culture of the legal system and prevailing legal philosophy (in our context the Western Common law tradition) involving sufficient understanding of doctrinal law to develop the skill to ‘think’ like a lawyer (comprehend complex data quickly and distil principle to apply to a novel problem), to ‘act’ like a lawyer (ethically, or at least aware of the ethics) with ‘lawyerly’ skills (use of language, the art of the argument, tactics for the battle, etc). In other words, the law degree is where the ‘what’ of legal knowledge joins the ‘what to do’ skills relating to the knowledge; and the ‘to do’ means those skills which are an integral part of ANY legal professional practice.


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